Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Have a plan. Work the plan.

More good news. Despite my having a fever (102 the night before, 100 at go time) Dr. George Parker agreed to proceed with installing my port-a-cath anyway. The reason this is good news, is that working the plan is our lodestone, now, and a delay in the plan this early in the process was an extremely disappointing prospect.

Dr. Parker is great. Reassuring demeanor. Stellar credentials. Nice guy.

He told me an interesting story. Evidently, he'd been at a Halloween cocktail party over the weekend, and somebody (without knowing he would be treating me) started talking to Dr. Parker about ME. Dr. Parker, in compliance with his professional ethical and legal obligations, did not disclose the relationship, but assured his fellow party-goer that "we're able to do some amazing things now."

I thanked him, and asked him to feel free to talk about me to whomever he wishes, identifying me by name, and disclosing any medical details he wants to. There are two reasons for this. First, if Judy had not read an article about Barretts esophagas, I'd be blithely going about my life now while the cancer grew in secret. We want to spread the word.

Second, and this is a little weird, I just need people to know and to talk about this. When Dr. Kumar first told us about the cancer, I felt like I was vanishing. Remember the picture Michael J. Fox carried around in Back to the Future, in which he and his family started to fade away, to have never existed? That's what it felt like to me.

Then, I started to receive calls and e-mails and visits from so many wonderful friends, neighbors, colleagues even acquaintances. This and my faith will be my power source to fight this fight. Another dumb movie reference - in Peter Pan, when Tinkerbell dies, Peter starts to chant "I do believe in fairies. I do! I do!" Then all the other kids join in, and Tink is restored to health. That's what the support I'm getting feels like to me. If enough people believe in me, than I can, too.

That's one of the reasons I'm doing this BLOG. I want people to know what we're doing, and to help with the campaign, but I don't want to overwhelm anybody. I've obviously already demonstrated a propensity for the maudlin in the first three posts (though I think that will subside a bit as I get down to business) and I don't want anybody to be ambushed by an e-mail message.

It doesn't hurt to have phenomenal doctors and some more pragmatic help as well.

Our friend Patti Bragg has volunteered to coordinate dinners for us. Ed Tatum will coordinate other chores and volunteers. John Pirko will manage professional, legal matters.

Today I vote, then go get a PT scan. Tomorrow I meet with Dr. Evers again at 9:30 and with Dr. Trevitt (sp?) for the first time at 10:30. Don't know exactly when radiation and chemo start, but likely it will be this week.

Work the Plan. Keep the Faith.


Blogger Ed said...

Wow. I am now a blogger. Only for you Jim, only for you.

This is a good idea; I think you do need to talk about it.

I shudder to think how many of us will be insisting on Judy's little test in the next few months. The world would be a better place if everyone had a Judy.

I have begun to receive inquiries for help and await your "To Do" list. I need to know how to get with Patti Bragg as I am also receiving meal offers.

I'm proud of you Tinker Bell.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

I added you to the prayer list at St. Cyprian of Carthage Orthodox Church in America. I know your fight and faith, and believe they will carry you over this. I will be a frequent follower of your Blog. But, I must say, it is hard to picture you as Tinkerbell.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Rick F. said...

Our prayers are with you. With your great attitude, I am confident that one day you will look back at this time period as a minor inconvenience and great learning period. Please keep your blogs going as I am sure we all want to be kept abreast of your speedy recovery.

10:24 AM  

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